- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Metropolitan police are looking for a building contractor who had an argument with an America Online executive before he disappeared three weeks ago, police sources said.
Friends of Douglas Small have told investigators that he had argued with a builder who was doing work on his home in the 2400 block of First Street NW, sources said. Mr. Small, 38, has been missing since Nov. 6.
Police are checking records in the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for building permits on the house to discover the identity of the contractor.
The investigation is being led by Detective Greg Sullivan, with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Mr. Small is homosexual.
Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday that foul play could be involved in Mr. Small's disappearance because he has vanished without a trace.
"Obviously, there are some unusual circumstance. There could be some foul play," Chief Ramsey said in an interview with WUSA-TV (Channel 9). "Here is a guy who is responsible.
"It is out of character for him to drop out of sight," he said.
About 4 p.m. yesterday, detectives and mobile crime-search officers began searching Mr. Small's home for forensic evidence. They were looking for any fingerprints, fibers or blood that could help show how Mr. Small disappeared.
Police did not find anything that suggested a struggle or forced entry when they first searched for Mr. Small at his home when he was reported missing.
Police said Mr. Small was last heard from at about 7:15 a.m. Nov. 6 during a telephone conversation with a friend. Later that morning, he was supposed to attend a meeting at American Online but did not show.
He was last seen Nov. 5 about 9 p.m., when a friend dropped him off at his home.
Friends told police they do not believe Mr. Small was distraught or ill, and he appeared to be in excellent physical health. Friends and family were especially concerned since Mr. Small was a stable person.
Mr. Small is a black man with a dark complexion, 6-foot-5 and about 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing a light beard and mustache.
He would usually socialize with friends in the Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill areas of the city.
Anyone with information about Mr. Small's disappearance should call the Metropolitan Police Department's Synchronized Operations Command Center at 202/727-9099 or page Sgt. Brett Parson at 202/996-5567.
America Online, based in Northern Virginia, is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to Mr. Small's return.


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